By Danny Mills

5th Jul, 2021 | 7:00pm

Mills backs Everton for top-six challenge after what he's heard from Benitez

Danny Mills has backed Everton to challenge for a place in the top-six under Rafael Benitez.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England and Man City defender insisted the Blues are just a couple of players away from having a squad capable of finishing in the European places.

Benitez was appointed as the new Everton boss last week and penned a three-year deal.

He was an unpopular choice amongst the fan base given his strong links to the red half of Liverpool.

“He’s clearly very brave,” Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“Unless he wins the league or beats Liverpool twice and knocks them out of a cup he’s not going to be considered as successful.

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“If they start to do OK, some Everton fans will be content. There will always be some that won’t because of the Liverpool connection.

“It’s about seeing what sort of football he can play, what type of players he can bring in. They’ve got the nucleus of a good squad, they don’t need too many more in and around it to take it onto the next level.

“There’s no reason why he can’t do well and try and push them into the top six.

“He’s a manager with fantastic pedigree, he’s worked with top players and if he can get it right there then he’s got a chance of doing well.

“I think the team will be organised with a real good structure.

“It’s interesting because I’ve seen people ask him in coaching seminars ‘How do you play so well on the counter-attack?’ He would say ‘It’s easy, I have Steven Gerrard and I have Fernando Torres, Gerrard picks the ball up and zings it 40, 50, 60 yards to Torres who puts in the back of the net. I don’t need to coach that.’

“He’s also a realist as well. When you look they’ve got Ben Godfrey, Lucas Digne, Jordan Pickford, Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, they don’t need to add a huge amount.

“They just need more discipline and a regular way of playing.”

In other news, Everton are in reported talks to sign an “amazing” player.